I've done a lot of smartphone camera shootouts over the last five years on All About Symbian and All About Windows Phone, each revolving around taking the same shot with a number of different test units and then (at some point) cropping in to look at pixel-level detail. And each time I get called out for doing this: "Real users don't crop in to the level where they can see pixels". Here's my defence, aided by some rather nice example photos from a mystery device...
Why should consumers at the lower end of the smartphone spectrum put up with older versions of the operating system, older generation hardware, and feel like second class citizens? The short answer is that they shouldn't, and that's why I'm really glad that Windows Phone is able to deliver as well at the lower end as well as in those higher end devices.
Every minute of every day, someone is buying a smartphone. They are making purchasing decisions that will affect them for (in most cases) the lifetime of a two year contract and beyond. Compared to that ongoing process, the launch of a new device and the resulting burst of promotion only takes up a very small part of the year. The key to continued sales, gaining market share and building up a strong user base, requires a different skill set in terms of promotion and marketing. And it is this skill set that is holding back a number of Windows Phone manufacturers.
In the second of an occasional tutorial series (here's the first part, looking at a murky scene-made-good taken on the Nokia Lumia 920), I take a recent photo of mine, also shot on a smartphone, in this case the Nokia 808 PureView, and show the quick-fire thought processes that went into creating it. Again, the tutorial is applicable to all phone camera users and again my aim is to get you thinking more when you next want to snap something photogenic. Comments welcome if I've helped and/or succeeded!
These days we all take Over The Air (OTA) firmware updates for granted. However, there was a time when firmware updates had to be done manually. It's a useful skill to have, especially when just sometimes even contemporary devices can find themselves left out in the cold when it comes to manufacturers spreading the firmware love. The course of DIY updates never run did smooth though, so not only do we discuss how to apply an upgrade, but we look at how you should approach restoring your device to its former state.
Sitting in my office, taking the backs of a number of Nokia phones (as you do), it struck me that something was missing - holograms. For the last five years or so, the presence of an official Nokia hologram has been a pretty good indication that a battery is genuine (and not some Far East-sold fake). Yet Nokia has been shipping phones over the last 12 months with hologram-less batteries. Photo proof below, but I have to ask - not for the first time - how on earth one might be able to tell these new official batteries from the replacement fakes?
For an American mobile OS, Windows Phone has never caught on in its home territory. Unlike other territories, where Windows Phone is showing steady progress (Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom are worth pointing out), the American market doesn't seem to have taken to Microsoft's mobile OS from any manufacturer. Why?
As the latest firmware update for the Lumia range works its way around the world, I suspect that many of the hardcore users of the compatible phones are already exploring the 'Storage Checker' option newly added to the settings screen. This is Nokia's contribution to a slowly growing problem on Windows Phone 8 devices, but in solving the problem Nokia may have caused more damage to the Windows Phone ecosystem.
In this video feature we offer a comparison of all of the globally available Nokia Lumia devices running Windows Phone. Covering the key pricing and specification differences between the Nokia Lumia 520, 620, 720, 820 and 920, as well as offering personal insights, it helps you answer the "what Lumia device is best for me" question, that becomes inevitable when there's a choice of five devices.
Podcatching, as you'll probably know, is the act of grabbing podcasts directly, over the air, on your smartphone. Automatically, seamlessly and without needing a desktop or any direct manual intervention. And then sorting them, playing them back in sensible fashion, working around interruptions, and cleaning up afterwards. It's a tall order for an application, yet we have no less than EIGHT likely contenders here, all of which I've put through their paces. Is there a winner? Of course there is.... [updated]